Are you unhappy in your relationship? Are you wondering if you’re simply incompatible with your partner?
No matter what you do, you can’t seem to get along.
Any small misunderstanding or misinterpretation of body language can turn into a full-blown argument, complete with yelling and crying.
Or maybe you’ve grown so disconnected in your relationship, that the thought of spending the next decade with your partner makes you so depressed. There’s no joy, no laughter, no sense of adventure anymore when you’re together.
Or you’re resentful of how much you’re doing to take care of the household, and how little your partner is doing. You’re exhausted! You didn’t sign up for this, and don’t want this to be your life.
Maybe you have financial problems, communication problems, jealousy issues…and nothing you’ve done up until this point has helped fix things.
You feel less connected to your partner than BEFORE you made attempts to get closer. You’re more hopeless than ever.
You are starting to think that you married the wrong person.
Or that they’ve changed.
Or you’ve changed—but they haven’t.
In other words, you think it’s hopeless because nothing you do will change the fact that you aren’t a good fit together.
And I can see why you’d think that, but before you go down that road, there’s a surprising truth you should know.
If you’re in a relationship that isn’t working for you, or you’ve tried and failed to fix things or make them better, you may think your only option is to put up with being unhappy, or leave and start over with someone else.
You keep remembering how happy you once were, in the beginning, when your love was new. Not so much anymore.
They used to be fun and spontaneous, but they’ve turned into a boring home-body.
They don’t contribute to the running of the household the way you need them to. Maybe they weren’t raised to believe in “equality” in the household the way you were.
Or they think it’s okay to make decisions without you, and you find that to be rude and inconsiderate. Maybe they’ve always been like that, but it’s just gotten so much worse.
They turn everything into a drama, but you like to talk things through rationally and calmly.
It makes you wonder what you were thinking when you first fell in love with your partner— were you EVER compatible with them, or did they change?
Actually, there’s a very good reason. In fact, there may be up to 5 very good reasons why your relationship problems just keep getting bigger, more persistent, and troublesome.
And it may have NOTHING to do with whether or not you’re compatible together.
Once you uncover one of those reasons, and learn about the underlying dysfunction in your relationship, you can finally have a real chance in making your relationship better—better than it’s EVER been, actually.
It isn’t even that difficult to do, but you have to have the right information FIRST.
I’ve spent most of my 40+ career as a therapist working with families and couples. I’ve literally seen and heard it all from people from all walks of life.
I’ve heard clients complain about irresponsible partners, cheating partners, thoughtless partners, you name it. I’ve heard couples tell me they’ve tried everything, and nothing has worked to bring them closer and solve their issues for long.
Maybe you, too, have tried to:
And yet, just like the thousands of couples whom I’ve worked with, whenever you solve one problem, another one pops up. Maybe it isn’t the same exact problem, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that one or both of you continued to feel:
…no matter WHAT kind of problem you’re facing.
Why does this happen?
Because your problems are mere symptoms of a much more fundamental break-down.
This break-down has to do with how your relationship functions and operates as a whole.
Unless you identify this fundamental break-down, and work to address it directly, all you’re doing is just masking the symptom.
Let me give you an example of what I mean.
Let’s say that your main issue is financial. You never have enough money to cover your bills. You are a saver, and your partner is a spender.
No matter how many talks you’ve had on the subject, your partner continues to spend money (in your opinion) irresponsibly. Because you’re trying to save for a down payment on a house, you’ve agreed to only spend money on necessities for a while. It isn’t long before your partner charges something on the credit card that you consider a “nice to have” but not a necessity.
Your partner, on the other hand, thinks it’s absolutely a necessity. They have their reasons. You disagree.
Finally, you see a financial counselor and they help you design a budget you can both adhere to.
You’re feeling relieved and your partner seems to be onboard.
You think you’ve finally “cured” your relationship financial problems.
But a month later, your partner resigns from their job and decides they are going to start their own business, and they want to use your meager savings to do so. Again, they have their reasons for why this is a great idea, but you are livid!
What happened to your goal of saving for a house? Why couldn’t they find a new job first, before quitting their current job?
Again, your life is thrown into crisis, and even though the issue is different, the way you feel is exactly the same—frightened about the future, unsure about the present, and unable to trust in your relationship.
Your problem won’t be solved by making another budget, or by convincing your partner they are out of their mind to be taking such risks.
And—here’s the thing—it’s not because you’re incompatible. It’s not because you’re a saver and your partner is a spender.
It’s because you’ve never addressed the underlying dysfunction in your relationship, which is that you have an insecure relationship.
When you’re in an insecure relationship, no amount of fixing it with rules, budgets, guidelines, talking or complaining will help.
You have to resolve this by fixing the system that causes the insecurity, not by masking the symptoms, which in an insecure relationship can be:
Furthermore, an insecure relationship is just one of 5 possible root causes or “forces” that can destroy a relationship.
No matter how unique you think your situation is, I can practically guarantee that any or all of your issue can be traced back to the following 5 invisible root causes or “forces”:
When even just ONE of these forces is present, the relationship will suffer.
Your various and unique “problems” will keep repeating, morphing, changing…but will persist.
And no matter what the details are, every single relationship issue will be caused by one of these 5 forces.
That’s why it’s not likely that you are experiencing a problem with “compatibility.”
And if you leave your current partner or spouse, chances are that you’ll encounter similar problems with your next partner. That’s because we tend to repeat these hidden patterns over and over, unless we finally recognize what it is we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how to effectively “fix” things for good.
Here’s the good news: You’re not doomed to spend the rest of your life with a partner that can’t make you happy, just because you have problems that never get better.
You can transform your relationship, even if you think it’s impossible because you’ve chosen the wrong partner. All it takes is perspective on what is really underneath your dissatisfaction and angst.
When you learn more about each of the 5 forces that may be destroying your relationship, you’ll have a huge “AHA” about why, up until now, nothing has seemed to work to solve your problems.
You’ll be able to see each other as a team again, instead of incompatible adversaries who don’t understand each other. You’ll start to work together to make decisions that are in alignment with the greater vision for your relationship.
In other words, once you know the underlying cause of your dissatisfaction, you can go about making the changes in your relationship that will actually make a difference.
When I work with couples to help them see what’s really behind their fighting, boredom, conflicts, and disconnect, they have a huge “AHA.”
They finally “get” what’s missing, and exactly what they need to do to get their love back on track.
But I can’t possibly work individually with everyone who needs that kind of help. That’s why I’ve partnered with Flourish, so I can extend that help and guidance to as many people as possible, since almost all couples can benefit from these insights and tips.
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A relationship doesn’t need to lose passion and connection, just because you’ve been together for a long time. Just the opposite! It should get sweeter and more loving with time.
Marriage CAN be enlivening and wonderful, if you have the right knowledge and tools.
The advice contained in the articles I’ve written for Flourish will help you uncover the hidden issues that are draining your relationship of joy and passion, and help you create and maintain a strong foundation of love and respect, so that your relationship can last a lifetime.
May you have an extraordinary day,